Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Carla Hale, Teacher Fired by Catholic School in Ohio: An Update, with Links to Recent Articles

Thanks to the extraordinary generosity of ClevelandGirl, a reader of Bilgrimage I've mentioned in the past, I have a set of links to share today, which provide an update on the story of Carla Hale. Hale is the teacher whom Bishop Watterson high school in Columbus, Ohio, fired last month after she mentioned her partner Julie in her mother's obituary (and see here).

Over 121,000 people have now signed a Change.org petition to the Columbus diocese asking that she be reinstated, and as several of the resources linked below will note, Hale has filed a complaint with her local teachers' union and with the Columbus Community Relations Commission. As ClevelandGirl has indicated to me, Columbus has an ordinance prohibiting discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and is generally a gay-supportive community. But because the state itself lacks legislation prohibiting discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and no such laws exist at the federal level, the ultimate outcome of Hale's complaint is uncertain.

Here's Cleveland Girl's list of articles updating Carla Hale's story, with one of my own:

On a protest held last Friday in support of Carla Hale:*

Sharon Abercrombie, "Protesters Demand Bishop Reinstate Fired Ohio Teacher," National Catholic Reporter

NBC-TV, "Rally for Gay Teacher at Steps of Diocese" 

WBNS-TV, "Bishop Watterson Students Protest Teacher's Dismissal Outside of Catholic Diocese"

Interviews given by both Carla Hale and her daughter:

WBNS-TV, "Carla Hale, Daughter Thank Supporters for Reinstatement Effort"

WOSU-TV, "Carla Hale Speaks on Her Controversial Firing at Watterson School"

On how discontent with Carla Hale's firing may affect the diocesan annual fund drive:

JoAnne Viviano, "Backlash on Gay Teacher's Firing May Hit Diocese Annual Fund Drive," Columbus Dispatch

And on concern for gay students at Watterson, after Hale's firing:

JoAnne Viviano, "Watterson Parent Worries for Gay Students," Columbus Dispatch.

As the report by Sharon Abercrombie notes, protesters at the rally or rallies supporting Hale have been carrying signs saying, "A Compassionate Church?" "Who Is Next?" and "Love Is Love." Looks like a lot of folks in Columbus aren't quite buying that Easter proclamation of the head of the U.S. Catholic bishops His Eminence Cardinal Dolan that the gays are as welcome as sunshine and spring flowers in his Catholic church.

Well, provided that they wash their dirty hands before showing up for Mass. But even then, they should perhaps be prepared to encounter the police.

*The dates of these two articles seem to suggest that there may have been protests both on Friday, 3 May and Friday, 26 April.

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